Veteran professional Khor Kheng Hwai will be looking forward to his first victory since 2017 when he tees off in the final group of the Alphard Cup’s final round at the Kota Seriemas Golf & Country Club here tomorrow.
The 39-year-old Penangite who was one stroke behind overnight leader Ervin Chang, carded a second four-under 68 for a two-day aggregate 136 to lead the tournament and is now ahead of Chang by one. Sharing joint third are Kenneth Tobuse and Syahiran Syakir who carded the day’s lowest score of 66.
“It’s been a while since I last won,” said Khor. “Quite happy with my all-round game and gave myself a few birdie opportunities. I actually missed more greens today than yesterday but made the putts when I needed it most. Greens are quite pure.”
The Kota Seriemas course put up a stiff challenge but it failed to stop Syahiran from bagging the tournament’s lowest score. He actually converted seven birdies but his card was spoilt by a lone bogey on the par four 5th.
“Quite happy with my game. Didn’t expect to be in this position quite honestly especially after the mediocre round yesterday,” said Syahiran who turned pro two years ago and hasn’t missed a cut on the Toyota Tour which is managed by the Professional Golf Malaysia and delivered by MST Golf Group.
The 23-year-old Kedahan plans to compete in the All-Thailand Tour’s qualifying school in November which means he will likely miss the Toyota Tour ADT Championship at Saujana GCC. “It was a tough decision, but I’ve been invited into the second qualifying phase. If I succeed then I’ll have more tournaments to compete in … it’s a long-term plan.”
Tobuse also has much to look forward to tomorrow as he has yet to win a tournament.
“Great to be in this position. The course is in excellent shape and I would rate their greens as well as those at Saujana, the best on Tour right now,” said Tobuse who coaches at the Kota Damansara driving range.
“Forest City two weeks ago was long and windy with tough pins. This week the course is fair to everyone.”
Chang had an up-and-down first nine for a one-over 37. His two birdies were spoilt by three bogeys.
“Wasn’t good off the tee,” said Chang who made regrouped for two birdies and an eagle against a bogey on his homeward nine.
He will join Syahiran and Khor in the final group tomorrow that tees off at 8.50am. Ahead of them are Tobuse, Paul San and Daeng Abdul Rahman, champion at Forest City two weeks ago. A total of 16 players broke par today with the cut-off mark at seven-over 151.
Genevieve took over the reins in the Ladies Championship when she returned an even par 72 and leads the tournament with a two-over 146. She leads by one stroke over Aretha Pan and Geraldine Wong.
Nothing seemed to go right for overnight leader Wong who failed to record a birdie today. She had three bogeys and a double for a five-over 77.
The 54-hole competition ends tomorrow afternoon.
Kota Seriemas GCC is part of the 2,400-acre Seriemas township developed by Seriemas Development Sendirian Berhad which is a subsidiary of PNB Development Sdn Bhd.
Leading scores (men)
136 Khor Kheng Hwai 68-68
137 Ervin Chang
138 Syahiran Syakir 66-72, Kenneth Tobuse 69-69
139 Paul San 71-68, Daeng Abdul Rahman 69-70, Galven Green 68-71
141 Wafiyuddin Manaf 72-69, Edven Ying 71-70, Shaifubari Muda 69-72, Lim Leun Kwang 70-71
146 Genevieve Ling 74-72
147 Aretha Pan 73-74; Geraldine Wong 70-77
150 Jocelyn Chee 75-75
152 Lana Aswadi 75-77